Celebrating the one-year anniversary of the signing of the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement with Nunavut
January 24, 2023 Gatineau, Quebec Employment and Social Development Canada
For too long, families have faced high child care fees, long wait lists and too few high-quality child care options. That is why the Government of Canada signed agreements with each province and territory to implement a Canada-wide early learning and child care system, giving children the best possible start in life and making life more affordable for families across Canada.
Today, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould, and Nunavut’s Deputy Premier and Minister of Education, Pamela Gross, marked the one-year anniversary of the signing of the Canada-Nunavut Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement.
As part of the agreement with the Government of Nunavut, the Government of Canada is providing $66.1 million over five years for licensed early learning and child care for children under age 6 in the territory. Through these investments, the governments of Canada and Nunavut are working together to improve access to high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive early learning and child care programs and services.
Nunavut is the first jurisdiction to achieve $10-a-day fees for licensed child care centres under the Canada-wide early learning and child care system. As of December 1, 2022, families in Nunavut with children under age 6 at licensed child care centres and licensed home day cares have access to child care for $10-a-day. Nunavut joins the Yukon and Quebec in providing families with regulated child care for $10-a-day or less.
This milestone was achieved a full 15 months ahead of the schedule set out in Nunavut’s Action Plan, and more than three years ahead of the March 2026 federal goal for Canada-wide implementation. With $10-a-day child care, families in Nunavut could save up to $55 per day for each child in care, when compared to previous rates.
Nunavut continues to provide a recruitment and retention fund to all licensed child care centres, which supports wage enhancements for early learning and child care educators in approximately 283 current workforce positions. By March 2023, Nunavut will create a wage grid to support fair and transparent wages in child care and to incentivize advanced education and certification for early childhood educators.
Building an early learning and child care system that works for all families in every region of the country is a key part of the Government of Canada’s plan to make life more affordable for families, while creating good jobs and growing the economy. All of Canada’s provinces and territories without an existing $10-a-day system have announced reductions in child care fees.
“As we mark the first year of our Canada-wide agreement with Nunavut, our governments can take pride in having delivered real savings to families in Nunavut. Through our work with the Government of Nunavut, high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive child care has become a reality in the territory, saving families hundreds of dollars each month. I’m looking forward to continued success as we build toward our ultimate goal of $10-a-day regulated child care everywhere in Canada.”
– Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould
“We are very pleased to celebrate the anniversary of the Canada-Wide Agreement. Improving access to, and affordability of, child care in Nunavut means supporting families and improving the overall wellbeing of Nunavummiut. The agreement has allowed us to make tangible steps to advance the child care sector, meaning more parents and guardians are able to work, benefitting their families and contributing to Nunavut’s economy. We are committed to continuing to work with our federal and Inuit organization partners to further develop the sector and support children, families, and our valuable child care workers now and into the future”
– Nunavut’s Deputy Premier and Minister of Education, Pamela Hakongak Gross
As part of Budget 2021, the Government of Canada made a transformative investment of more than $27 billion over five years to build a Canada-wide early learning and child care system with the provinces and territories. Combined with other investments, including investments in Indigenous early learning and child care, up to $30 billion over five years will be provided in support of early learning and child care.
Through previous investments in early learning and child care, the Government of Canada has helped to create over 40,000 more affordable child care spaces across the country.
Recognizing that early childhood educators are at the very heart of a high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive early learning and child care system, wage grids or additional training supports for early childhood educators are part of all Canada-wide agreements with provinces and territories, with the exception of Quebec, which has an asymmetrical agreement.
To ensure that families across Canada have enduring access to affordable, inclusive and high-quality early learning and child care, the Government of Canada has recently introduced Bill C-35, which, if passed, would enshrine the principles of a Canada-wide early learning and child care system into federal law. This includes a commitment to maintain long-term federal funding for provinces, territories and Indigenous peoples to support the provision of early learning and child care under a Canada-wide system.
Investments in child care will benefit everyone across Canada. Studies show that every dollar invested in early childhood education generates benefits ranging from $1.50 to $2.80 in return.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Office of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould
A/ Manager, Communications
Department of Education
Government of Nunavut
Director of Communications
Government of Nunavut
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